The Government has severely condemned masked rioters for their violent acts which totally disregard law and order.
It noted members of the public participated in unauthorised assemblies and processions in various districts on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon today, where a large number of masked rioters blocked roads and vandalised public property, Mass Transit Railway stations as well as selected banks and shops.
They also set fires, hurled petrol bombs at police and wantonly attacked other members of the public.
The Government said that the violent acts in recent days have thrown the community into panic and chaos, affecting many public services and prompting malls and shops to suspend business for fear of vandalism.
Many people did not dare to go out because of concern for their personal safety.
Rioters attacked a number of people in recent days and seriously injured a victim with suspected lethal weapons today. A reporter was also hit by rioters’ petrol bombs and was burnt.
It also noted that rioters extensively trashed MTR facilities in the past days, causing the rail firm to suspend the operation of the entire network at one point, bringing immense inconvenience to people’s daily lives.
The Government thanks MTR staff members for their hard work in repairing various facilities to the best of their ability in the face of danger, enabling the resumption of the railway service to a limited extent earlier today.
The masked rioters’ continuous extreme violent acts have seriously breached public peace, posing extensive and imminent danger to society, which are testimonies to the need to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to put in place the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation by the Government.
An application for an interim injunction against the regulation by non-pro-establishment lawmakers today was again rejected by the High Court.
The Government added that the regulation has come into effect, making it an offence to use a facial covering that is likely to prevent identification in unlawful or unauthorised assemblies, and public meetings and processions that have to notify the Commissioner of Police and do not receive any prohibition or objection.
The regulation is to prevent further violence and riotous acts, so that Hong Kong can be restored to peace and stability.
The Government urges the public not to become involved in any potential law violation.